The numbers keep rising on the Darrell Taylor “We gonna whup they fuckin ass” video that I shot Saturday night at Battle at Bristol completely by chance. It was dumb luck that led to that video ever seeing the light of day and I have to thank the security staff at Bristol. A couple of runarounds about the field pass that we had led to my phone being a couple of feet from Vols players as they were headed to stretch in front of 156,990 fans.
How I got the Darrell Taylor WGWTFA video:
• Backstory: My buddy Paul and I were on the Busted Coverage Bristol trip and were lucky enough to get a special pregame field pass from BMS. We were told that the pass would be good for access to the field up until kickoff.
• We get into Bristol after battling huge crowds and make our way to the field. First stop: Head towards the Vols sideline to take advantage of the passes. It took about 10 seconds before a security lady took one look at us and said it’s time to go. We explained that the pass was for pregame access. She wasn’t having it. That’s when she said the access was over, but something didn’t feel right with her explanation. It seemed like she was just getting rid of us because we weren’t wearing suits. She then escorted us out and didn’t seem to want us coming back.
• So we headed towards the Vols millionaire row tent where the rich people ate fancy foods, drank top shelf liquor and (we found out later) cheered as the Vols made their way to the field right through their tent. It was like how the Cowboys have that bar where fans can watch players enter the field.
• That’s the area where it looked like we could gain access to the field so it was time to ask another security guard about the pass. He didn’t know what was up and that’s about the time when the Vols players started coming out. Here came Darrell Taylor, not that I had a clue who he was. START RECORDING…ASK BASIC QUESTIONS. Get one lucky answer and it goes viral. GO!
• The players make their way to the field, I follow behind, cut through another fence where a security guard said we could watch. At this point we’re one fence away from being on the field. So we go to the end of the fence, which is on the Va. Tech sideline and walk onto the turf. Passes displayed. Just kept walking. And walked right into the Va. Tech bench area where Bruce Smith, Michael Vick, DeAngelo Hall and Frank Beamer were holding court with other fellow Hokie alums.
• Paul and I run into a (unnamed) ‘friends’ and we small talk, which must seem great to any security that might’ve been around us.
• We go into photo mode. Time to get some pics with the Va. Tech greats. Up first: Bruce Smith. The guy is giant. Giant hands. Legs like sequoias. Looks like he could choke you out in five seconds. The guy is 53 and looks like he’s in game shape. Bruce is down for a photo so we get right in for that one.
• Next target: Mike Vick. We wait for him to take a pic with Va Tech legends and we move in. I go with “Hey Mike would you take a selfie with a couple of white guys.” He laughs and says sure. Paul asks him about getting another NFL job and he says he’s waiting for the phone to ring. The guy is pretty damn unassuming.
• At that point we figured it was best to make our way out of the bench area because the Anthem as about to get rolling. We move away from the bench and assume a spot at about the 15-yard line.
• Another security guy comes up and has us targeted. He goes after Paul first and asks to see passes. That’s when he notices Paul is still wearing his GameDay guest pass. Security guy thinks we’re some sort of ESPN invited guests and all but gets on his knees to apologize to us.
• Anthem goes off. We’re still at the 15-yard line. Jennifer Nettles does her thing. There’s a coin toss, etc.
• Security starts escorting Nettles towards us. This seems like the moment we’re going to get booted. New security guys, gotta check passes, that kinda thing. Didn’t happen. They position Nettles to my left. She’s amped up so we go in for questions. There’s a couple minutes of small talk and it’s now clear to security that’s we’re somebody important. We seem to know everyone on this field.
• Papa John Manning leaves the field and we’re ready to play some ball.
• Va. Tech receives the kick right in front of us and we’re listening to pads popping.
• My old friend Sam Ponder (black dress) stopped by to watch the game with us. Her security detail inches away, never asks to see our passes.
• The Hokies look great, they control the clock and go up 7-0.
• At some point Frank Beamer is brought down the sideline right in front of us. He goes out to be recognized and doesn’t really know what to do beside point at the fans and wave to coaches on the sideline.
• The feet and legs start to hurt – bad. The short walk from the RV to the stadium is brutal. It’s been a long day. We haven’t eaten, but drank like a case of Natty. It’s time to get some nachos and a sausage and grab a seat at a table by the millionaire Vols tent.
• End of the 1st quarter. We leave the sideline.
• The noise level was higher than I thought it would be on the field.
• The turf felt pretty soft for being on a concrete slab there for truck haulers.
• Act like you belong. We had passes that should’ve allowed us access, but security didn’t seem to be aware of the passes. Don’t let the first security lady scare you off.
• Tennessee didn’t run a single play in front of us.
• Thanks to those who made this trip happen. You know who you are. Thanks for letting us have free range to roam and be BC. Thanks to Darrell Taylor for getting lit and letting it fly. It’s probably the greatest video I’ve ever recorded. I can’t stop watching.
• Thanks Bristol. It was an incredible time I won’t forget.